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Re: video card changing...

> On Tue, Dec 18, 2001 at 04:19:04PM -0500, Rob Hensley wrote:
> > Hi, I was just wondering if i was able to change the video card in a
> > laptop. I'm not too sure of the model, but it's an HP. I'd like to put a
> 	I can't be 100% certain, but I'd say your odds are about 1 in
> 10E6. Typically, the video chipset is on a controller board with several
> other components of the machine, and the boards are all custom-fitted to
> the case. If you can find the same model laptop with the chipset you
> want, you might have some luck switching components, but I worked for a
> couple of years in a computer shop fixing the things, and I have never
> heard of a source for jobber parts.

I've been keeping tabs on the laptop world for over 6 years now, and here
are the only aspects of interchangeability I've heard of:

 -- there was a shortlived attempt by Duracell and some other companies
    to create an industry standard laptop battery.  Nice idea, but too
    many companies make the big bucks by selling replacements.

 -- slots designed for hotswap usage such as PCMCIA, USB, memory sticks, 
    etc. but also including proprietary floppy, CD, or docking bay interfaces.

 -- "miniPCI" slots are swappable inside, but you have to take the machine 
    apart.  Companies use this to be able to sell you the same box with a
    modem, an ether, or a wireless connection.

 -- it used to be rare, and is now normal, for the CPU to be on a replaceable
    module or an ordinary socket, and the motherboard to handle a small range 
    of speeds.

However while you can plug in a fresh mouse or keyboard or (usually!) video
externally, inside the laptop these are not interchangeable, and generally
all live on the tiny motherboard together.  Even laptops which have daughter
board layout inside, aren't enough like other models to swap parts;  it's
merely a convenience to let techs more easily at the other innards.

(I once saw a "daughter" which was the IDE interface card;  maybe that part
 could die easily and they figured to make it easy to replace.)

It'd be kinda cool to see more types of card than "net connection" come as
miniPCI, but at least one motherboard manufacturer would have to push for it.

The truism goes, if your laptop video dies, get it repaired or replace the 
whole thing.  One older system I worked with wouldn't boot anyway if the 
video was unhappy.  If you go the repair route, take care you don't spend
so much it's *worth* getting a new system.

* Heather Stern * star@ many places...

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